Home » How to Upcycle Thrifted Night Stands to Office Storage and a Sunset Donut Cake

How to Upcycle Thrifted Night Stands to Office Storage and a Sunset Donut Cake

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Nightstand Upcycle to Office StorageHappy Weekend everyone! Today I have a furniture refinishing project for you and dessert/breakfast in the form of a donut cake.

When we first moved to Pullman, I spent some time figuring out my office. I hated my Ikea desk and unlike before I had a lot of space to work with versus a corner in an already utilized room.

Within a week I found a $15 desk on Craigslist and these night stands at a thrift store. I considered bookshelves, side tables, and dressers to meet my need for storage and I knew it would come down to 2 things, how much and that ‘first sight’ intuition.

The night stands fit both and happen to fit perfectly behind where my desk sits. They were $9/each and seemed like they’d work out perfect having both shelves and drawers.

I really had no idea what to do with them and I honestly just thought I’d use them as is. Then I started watching a bunch of random furniture refinishing videos on YouTube and had a swirl of ideas in my brain. I could paint them, glue magazines/paper to them and on and on.

Nightstand Upcycle to Office StorageI decided to go the ‘simplest’ route. I sanded and repainted them. Sanding helps the paint hold on better.

This meant 2 things, I could use a power tool and do something loud and smelly, which I haven’t been able to do since we moved from Batavia.

I bought a simple $30 sander, a mask and safety glasses (couldn’t find my chemistry goggles from 8th grade). The key to sanding was to hold the sander down with firm pressure so it doesn’t skid about. Start with a low numbered rough sanding sheet (80) and then before you’re finished use a higher numbered (120-200) sheet.

Nightstand Upcycle to Office StorageWhen done sanding, wipe the pieces down with a damp cloth, allow to dry and paint. It was my first time picking out paint and at first I had no idea what color but then I quickly decided on blue-green teal semi-gloss latex paint and bought the smallest can, about $15. I still have about 1/4 of the can left and have used it for more than just this project. Worth it.

Lay out some cardboard or old sheets and paint using rollers or 2″ paint brushes. Allow an hour or two between coats. I did 2-3 coats and skipped the advice I saw a few times of sanding in between coats (you’d then have to wait longer to allow for dry paint before sanding).

Allow to dry over night and bring them inside. I also replaced the slides on the legs with new nail in slides from the hardware store.

Nightstand Upcycle to Office Storage Nightstand Upcycle to Office Storage Nightstand Upcycle to Office Storage

After I brought them inside I wondered how cool it would be to find a cute drawer knob like World Market has in those bins. Thus began an Etsy hunt when I found these cute little elephants. They remind me of the Happy Herbivore logo. 🙂

101227Tools-1Again I got to play with power tools and used our drill with a drill bit just a little smaller than the screw to make a hole in the center of the drawer. See, there’s a reason I like tools. A love affair that started at such an early age. I think this was my 3rd birthday. You can tell how excited I am by that joyous constipated smile. I seriously loved that tool set for ‘carpenters and mechanics’, I even had an old workbench in the basement.

Nightstand Upcycle to Office Storage Nightstand Upcycle to Office Storage

And now my office is happy!

Are you ready for the recipe yet or did you skip all that and scroll to this part of the post? 😉

Sunset Donut CakeDon’t the nectarines look like little sunsets? Purple, pink, and orange? Love! This super super tasty donut cake is a blatant adaption of my spiced cake donuts, but I did change things up a bit. I added fruit and it’s oil-free! It’s moist and cakey perfection. I’ve made this in an 8×8 pan last week and yesterday in a 9.5-10 inch springform pan. Having made it both ways, I prefer it in the springform pan because it only took 35-40 minutes to bake versus 60ish minutes in the square pan at 325F.

Sunset Donut Cake Sunset Donut Cake

Sunset Donut Cake

  • Yield: 8+ servings
  • Serving Size: slice


  • 2 Ener-G egg replacers (3 teaspoons + 4 tablespoons warm water) OR 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal +6 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal/flour (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 oz almond milk
  • 3 oz orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon applesauce
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 ripe nectarine or peach, pitted and thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9.5-10inch spring form pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the egg ingredients, almond milk, orange juice, extracts, and applesauce. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together both flours, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until all the dry mix is incorporated. Fold in blueberries.
  4. Smooth into prepared pan and top with nectarine slices.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350F. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing springform and cutting. Store in fridge and enjoy!


*If you can't determine 3oz - using a 'cup' liquid measurer, fill it half way to 3/4 cup with almond milk and the remainder with orange juice. *Add in juice and zest from half a lemon along with 1/2inch of ginger, minced. *Leave out the nutmeg and cinnamon and swap in 1/2 teaspoon of allspice or pumpkin pie spice.


Sunset Donut Cake

SunsetDonutCakeSelfieSunset Donut Cake selfie. Hey!


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